Speaking to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday evening, hours before his book was scheduled to drop, Geoffrey Berman sounded the alarm on a wide-reaching ethics scandal that reaches all the way to the top of the Justice Department and to former President Donald Trump.
This is just another in the growing list of illegal or unethical behavior by Trump's DOJ being uncovered by investigations and whistleblowers willing to come forward.
Berman explained one of the main reasons he stayed in his position as long as he did: If Bill Barr got rid of him, there wouldn't be anyone left who could be trusted to "hold the line."
"So, I was very noisy. I told the entire country what I thought Barr was doing and how he crossed the line," Berman said about being shoved out at the time. "And I think because of that very noisy exit, as you said, Audrey Strauss took over as acting U.S. Attorney, and she's a person of the highest integrity. And an icon of the New York Bar."
Berman also appeared before Congress to sound the alarm at the time and talked to the ethics department to ask what he could say publicly. He said they shut him up, which he said he found "frustrating" because he couldn't tell the whole story. His new book has only recently been vetted and approved by the DOJ.
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He went on to say that he isn't certain whether or not something illegal happened. Legal analysts will likely take up that mantle and do the research.
"But I can tell you, it violated all the norms and traditions of the Department of Justice, which is supposed to be independent from politics," said Berman. "Trump turned the department into his own personal law firm. He put in people who would do his bidding. And they would, you know, target Trump's political enemies and assist Trump's friends. And it was a disgrace. And that's what I kind of detail in the book. Several instances of that."
During his tenure, Berman was close to indicting Steve Bannon for the "We Build the Wall" case. Trump ultimately pardoned Bannon and ended the federal probe. The New York state courts have taken up that case and Bannon has been indicted. The other case involves Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman and the Ukraine investigation.
The book, "Holding the Line," will be available for purchase Tuesday.
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See the interview below or at this link.
Geoffrey Berman tells youtu.be